Wake up to Bill Rodgers setting the American Record – Boston Marathon
Happy Thursday morning to you all and I hope you’re getting excited about the looming Boston Marathon this Monday. I write this to you from my couch where and just wanted to remind you that Bill Rodgers won the Boston Marathon four times and three of those victories were consecutive…AND in two of those wins he also set American records.
The race we’re hyping up this morning is Bill’s 1979 win since we’ve dug up into the caverns of the internet for some epic footage of that record setting race. This was the 83rd edition of the Boston Marathon and at the time there was a record number of runners on the starting line with a field of 10,000 participants. This was Rodgers’ third victory but it was all but certain throughout the race.
Tom Fleming from New Jersey had already finished second in the race the previous two years. He decided to change things up by running as hard as he could until the others caught him or he gave out. He led through half marathon mark in a touch over 65 minutes, which was just behind Bill Rodgers course record pace. He still had a gap on the field, but soon after 13.1 miles, Gary Bjorkland took over the lead into the Newton Hills. It didn’t take long for Rodgers to stop lurking in second place and make his appearance in the front of the field as they headed into the city. The clock wasn’t much of a factor until the final two miles, where Rodgers found another gear and split 9:20 to set the Boston Marathon course record, American record and fancy PR of 2:09:27.
The announcer gave everyone goosebumps as Bill finished saying “Ladies and gentlemen, the greatest runner in Massachusetts, the greatest runner in the United States, the greatest runner in the world and the greatest runner in the history of the world!”